The Carolina Hurricanes have reached into the European ranks to add an NHL retread to the organization. Forward Drew Shore, who last played in North America in 2017, has agreed to a one-year deal with the Hurricanes, the team announced. It is a one-year, two-way contract worth the minimum $700K in the NHL and $150K in the AHL.
Shore, 29, has had an interesting career. A big, versatile forward, Shore was a second-round pick of the Florida Panthers in 2009 and left the University of Denver early after dominating collegiate competition. As a rookie, he even garnered Calder Trophy votes with 13 points in 43 games with the Panthers. No one would have expected that this mark would stand as his career best. Shore struggled in his limited action with Florida in his second season and was held out of the lineup entirely in his third year until he was traded to the Calgary Flames midway through the campaign. He struggled to find his footing in Calgary as well and was out of the NHL after just a season and a half with the club. Shore made his way to Switzerland to begin the 2016-17 season, but would return to the NHL midseason to sign with the Vancouver Canucks. Again, Shore failed to make the most of the opportunity and was not re-signed. He returned to the Swiss NLA for two seasons, then jumped to the KHL, where he has spent parts of the past two seasons.
Shore has always been a productive player in the minor leagues or abroad, but has never been able to translate that ability to the NHL. Nearing 30 now and three years removed from action at the highest level, Shore does seem like an odd choice to land an NHL contract, especially with so much talent still available. Yet, the Hurricanes must see something they like in the experienced journeyman.
Another strange note on the Shore signing is that a more accomplished Shore, Devin Shore, remains unsigned. This confused even the always-reliable CapFriendly in announcing the deal. Devin, 26, had a down year and was not extended a qualifying offer by the Columbus Blue Jackets, but was a consistent 30+ point player in his first three pro seasons. With the market drying up against the flat salary cap, it’s a real possibility that the superior Shore may not find NHL employment this season, while the older and less proven one plays in Carolina.